Eq: Large Cap

(New York)

One of the big questions in this market fall is why junk bonds aren’t tumbling in tandem with stocks. Generally speaking, high yield bonds trade in the same direction as small cap stocks as they are driven more by company fundamentals than other areas of the bond market. However, in the recent rout, this was not the case, as junk bonds have continued to perform well. When both markets fall in unison, it usually means there is big trouble brewing, but when they have become uncorrelated, it can mean there is a rally to come. For instance, in 2011, small caps fells strongly, but junk only a touch. In the following months, small caps surged 15%.

FINSUM: We think this is a positive sign for small caps, as high yield investors are not worried about company fundamentals.

(New York)

One of the biggest mistakes that investors might make in this rising rate era is to try to combat rising rates with better yielding bonds. While that strategy can work, especially in short-term bonds with high yields (such as junk bonds), a better strategy is to buy dividend growth stocks. Historically speaking, dividend growth shares have performed well in periods of rising rates, outperforming yield stocks and the broader market. BMO Capital Markets recently put out a piece on the topic, saying that “We prefer to focus on stocks that combine dividend growth and yield characteristics”. Some stocks that meet dividend growth criteria are BlackRock, Bank of America, Union Pacific, and Delta Airlines.

FINSUM: Dividend growth stocks tend to have good capital appreciation during periods of rising rates, which makes them seem like a good bet for this tightening cycle.

(New York)

Want to maintain your portfolio’s income, but also afraid of rising rates? Many are, as it is a difficult challenge keep income high but not experience losses. With that in mind, here are a handful of mutual funds which should help do just that. One area to look for diversified income right now is in multi-asset income funds. Some of the best are the American Funds Income Fund of America (AMECX), the Vanguard Wellesley Income (VWINX), the BlackRock Multi-Asset Income (BAICX), the JPMorgan Income Builder (JNBAX), and the Principal Global Diversified Income (PGBAX).

FINSUM: Many of these funds are quite old and have had great performance. Fees are all over the map, but one of the areas where they tend to succeed is in having good performance with lower volatility than the market as a whole.

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